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Principal religions and denominations

A special kind of Islam

Although Turkey is predominantly Sunni Muslim (80%), the population nonetheless presents certain religious peculiarities. This is due to the late islamisation of Anatolia, the long pre-Islamic history of the Turks, the encounter of the three monotheist religions under the Ottoman Empire and also the secularisation of society and its institutions put in place after 1923.
Therefore even if the majority of citizens are Sunni Muslims who adhere to the Hanafi legal school, a significant minority however consider themselves to be Alevi. Alevism, which came from Shi’a Islam, is considered by some to be a separate religion characteristic of Asia Minor and the Balkans.
In addition, one specific characteristic of Islam in Turkey is the important role of the brotherhoods, which constitute the bedrock of popular Islam.

D 8 October 2012    ASamim Akgönül

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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